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>> brown: the president's pick to be the next secretary of defense, former senator chuck hagel, defended his record today and said america must engage-- not retreat-- in the world. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, we excerpt today's confirmation hearing, as republicans sparred with the former vietnam combat veteran about the war in iraq and more. >> brown: then, we have two stories from the middle east, beginning with a dramatic late- night rescue of syrian refugees, fleeing across the border to jordan. >> woodruff: and a margaret warner report about the threat a nuclear-armed iran poses to israel. > ty acmula enogh anium which is close to weapons grade, enough uranium which enables them to detonate one nuclear device: to me is clearly a redline. >> brown: former vice president al gore joins us to talk about his new book as well as money, politics and the future of democracy. >> the congress is virtually
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incapable of passing any reforms unless they first get permission from the powerful special interests. >> woodruf do americans trust the feral vernment? andrew kohut says a new pew poll shows the majority do not. >> brown: and ray suarez gets the latest on the chinese hackers who allegedly mounted a four-month cyber-attack against the "new york times." that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
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>> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: former u.s. senator chuck hagel faced a hostile reception today from half of the committee that must sign off before he can become secretary of defense. his senate confirmation hearing centered heavily on criticism from his one-time republican colleagues. the atmosphere was friendly enough at the outset as chuck hagel began his big day before the armed services committee. he quickly sought to allay
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concerns on both sides about his positions on everything from iran to israel to nuclear weapons. >> no one individual vote, no one individual quote, no one individual statement defines me, my beliefs, or my record. my overall world view has never changed: that america has and must maintain the strongest military in the world. >> i believe, and always have, that america must engage, not retreat, in the world, but engage in the world. my record is consistent on these points. >> woodruff: but as a nebraska senator, in 2007, hagel angered fellow republicans when he opposed the surge of u.s. troops into iraq. today, his former close friend, arizona senator john mccain made clear, they haven't forgotten. >> were you correct or incorrect
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when you said that the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam? were you correct or incorrect, yes or no? >> my reference to the surge being the most dangerous. >> are you going to answer the question, senator hagel? the question is were you right or wrong? that's a pretty straightforward question. i would like an answer on whether you were right or wrong, then you're free to elaborate. >> well, i'm not going to give you a yes or no answer on a lot of things. >> well let the record show that you refused to answer the question. now please go ahead. >> well, if you'd like me to explain why ... >> i'd actually like an answer, yes or no? >> well, i'm not going to give you a yes or no. i think it's far more complicated than that, as i've already said. my answer is i'll defer that judgment to history. as to the comment i made about >> i think history has already made a judgment about the surge, sir, and you're on the wrong side of it. and your refusal to answer whether you were right or wrong
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about it is going to have an impact on my judgment as to whether to vote for your confirmation or not. >> woodruff: florida democrat bill nelson came to hagel's defense, asking the decorated vietnam war veteran how his experience in that war had guided his approach to iraq. >> i saw the consequences and the suffering and the horror of war. so i did question the surge. it wasn't an aberration to me. i always ask the question, "is this going to be worth the sacrifice?" because the wi be crifice. in the case of the surge in iraq, we lost almost 1,200 dead americans and thousands of wounded. >> woodruff: hagel has also been excoriated over his criticism of pro-israel lobbying efforts, and mississippi republican roger wicker raised it again. >> you are here today as a you have suggested that there is an effective lobby out there,
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whether you call them the jewish lobby, the israeli lobby or the israel lobby, and that they succeed in doing dumb things through intimidation, and that u.s. policy has been the wrong approach because the intimidation has worked. >> i've already said, i regret referencing the jewish lobby. i should have said pro-israel lobby. i think it's the only time on the record that i've ever said that. on the use of intimidation, should have used influence, i think would have been more appropriate. i should not have said dumb or stupid, because i understand, appreciate there are different views in these things. >> reporter: south carolina republican lindsey graham argued that hagel's larger record on middle east policy is equally troubling. >> do you believe that the sum
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total of all of your votes, refusing to sign a letter to the e.u. asking hezbollah to be designated a terrorist organization, being one of 22 to vote to designate the iranian revolutionary guard a terrorist organization,eing one of two on two occasions to vote against sanctions that this body was trying to impose on iran, the statements you made about palestinians and about the jewish lobby, all that together. that the image you created is one of sending the worst possible signal to our enemies and friends at one of the most critical times in world history? >> no, i would not agree with that. because i have taken actions and made statements very clear as to what i believe hezbollah and hamas are as a terrorist organizations.
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>> if you had a chance tomorrow, today, after lunch, to vote to say that the iranian revolutionary guard was a terrorist organization. would you still vote no? >> the reason i voted no to start with... >> well i know why, you told me that. my question is would you reconsider and would you vote yes this time? or would you still vote no? >> times change. i recognize that and, yes, i would renser. >> well, thank you, that is encouraging. >> woodruff: as for iran and its nuclear program, and the potential for military action against it. georgia republican saxby chambliss asked whether hagel still supports direct talks with the islamic republic. >> i think the president has gone as far as he should go publicly on that. he said clearly, in his words, that he has israel's back. he said his policy is not to allow the iranians to get a nucle weapon.
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if in fact the military option is the only one required, i think we're always on higher ground in every way, international law, domestic law, people of the world, people of the region to be with us on this, if we have tried and if we have gone through every possibility to resolve this in a responsible, peaceful way, rather than going to war. >> reporter: if he's confirmed, one of hagel's first challenges could be tens of billions of llars in automatic defen spending cuts, arti in early arc he warned today of serious harm, unless congress acts to prevent those. >> when you hang that kind of uncertainty over any institution, but especially the institution charged with national security in our country, it's very dangerous. >> woodruff: by day's end, it was unclear exactly what hagel's prospects are. most of the senate's 55 democrats are believed to back him.
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only one republican has said publicly he will vote to confirm. >> brown: you can watch more highlights from chuck hagel's confirmation hearings on our website. and still to come on the "newshour": syrian refugees escape to jordan; the iranian threat to israel; vice president al gore on "the future"; a lack of trust in the federal government and chinese hackers hit the "new york times." but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: the u.s. senate voted today to suspend the nation's debt limit through mid-may. that lets the government go on borrowing to pay its bills-- beyond the current limit of $16.4 trillion. republicans and democrats supported the legislation, but both sides also complained about kicking the issue down the road. >> i've had enough of it. the people of indiana have had enough of it. the people across the country have had enough of washington postponing real action on the most serious challenge facing our country namely the out of
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control spending into further deficit and debt. >> obviously democrats would prefer a longer suspension of he debt ceiling which would provide additial economic security and stability as we continue to find ways to decrease the deficit. raising the possibility that the u.s. could default its obligations every few months is not an ideal way to run government but a short term solution is better than another imminent manufactured crisis. >> holman: the house already passed the bill. without it, the government would default on its obligations as early as mid-february. in economic news, americans' personal income grew in december, by the most in eight years. but first-time claims for jobless benefits were up last week. and on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average lost nearly 50 points to close at 13,860. the nasdaq fell a fraction of a point to close at 3,142. blinding snowfall and a slick freeway triggered a mile-long series of crashes in detroit today.
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at least three people were killed and 20 more injured. the pileups left a section of interstate 75 littered with wrecked cars and big-rig trucks. the tangle involved some 30 vehicles, and halted traffic on the road for hours. in egypt, representatives from the country's various factions made a rare show of unity today to denounce violence. the muslim brotherhood and secular parties met in cairo after rioting last week that killed nearly 60 people. the meeting was led by egypt's top muslim cleric-- sheikh ahmed al-tayeb. >> the duty of the different political movements is to commit to the use of pluralism and differences in peaceful ways and to denounce the use of any sort of violence to achieve political ends. the only way to solve any problems and differences is national dialogue without excludinany grp. >> holman: the week-long protests marked the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled president hosni mubarak. france today declared success in its three-week military
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operation to rout islamist rebels in mali. malian forces liberated the towns of gao and timbuktu this week, and french troops now have occupied the airport at a third key city-- kidal. in paris today, the french defense minister said his government is open to having u.n. peacekeepers take over, with french support. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: and we turn to two stories about conflict in the middle east. as the battle in syria between president bashar al-assad's forces and the free syrian army or f.s.a. rages on, thousands of refugees flood into neighboring countries. jonathan miller of "independent television news" takes us to a secret crossing point on the border with jordan on the outskirts of the syrian city of da'-raa.
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>> reporter: katiba jaber is a lonely place, exposed to desert winds that chill you to the bone. the border guard is ready for what the night will bring. ( gunfire ) the shooting started shortly after sunset. those are close. the syrians fire at the jordanians every night but the jordanians don't fire back. and bashar's forces shoot and shell the groups of refugees hiding somewhere down there in the darkness. unexpectedly, a jordanian ambulance arrives. on board, four old people who'd somehow become separated from their group. they may have been the target of the gunfire, but they made it. just. they're exhausted. there's a lot of shooting going on now. this old man and these few who've arrived here are a group of i think about 45 among a much larger group. you can here the shooting going on right now and there has been shellfire.
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those down on the border must be utterly terrified. i went up to the watchtower. we weren't allowed to film the night vision screen, but i was allowed to report what i could see. i've seen a group of about 80 refugees hiding in a ditch behind a berm. i've seen an f.s.a. position and their commander and his vehicle. and i've seen three t-72 tanks of the syrian army and several missile batteries. they know exactly where the refugees are and they've been firing at them. the refugees are now on the move and are heading this way. we join the reception party and head down the hill towards the frontier. no lights. we're in direct line of fire. they're talking to the f.s.a. commander. a deep ditch demarcates the border. rebel soldiers are building a mud bridge. we could turn our camera light on now; here we were hidden from
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the known syrian positions. out of the blackness, they emerged. they'd run the gauntlet of their oppressor; now they were but a few short steps from safety. behind them, a building blazes; hit by shellfire. this ditch was not the intended crossing point; pinned down by regime gunfire, the f.s.a. had changed the plan. the final headcount for this group reached 149. they are now at the limit of endurance. they've been walking for hours, brad for instant death. the soldiers guide them the long way round and up the hill, out of sight of syrian forces. 3,000 syrians are entering jordan like this every night now; 24 crossing points like this, along a 250-mile-long frontier.
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60,000 have crossed in january alone. they've made it to katiba jaber; lights, gas fires, water, food and shelter and a dawning realization that the terror is behind them. as they recovered, some sat quietly; some wept; others wanted to tell us what it was they'd run from. haj zedan said they'd undergone a suffocating siege; no food, no sleep; just fear. fawzia said they had died many deaths to get here. then we met marwa. >> ( translated ): they went into the house of my husband's cousin and they burned him alive. then they came to our house and set fire to it. my brother-in-law's clinic as well. they burned everything. there's nothing left. only destruction.
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i don't care. i just care about my children. thank god, we arrived safely. >> reporter: marwa's eldest son, mohammed, is ten years old. he talked matter-of-factly of unspeakable depravity. >> ( translated ): a bomb flew into our neighbor's house and the house exploded. our neighbor's head landed in our house. we were very scared. this family painted an apocalyptic picture of their hometown, bosra al-sham-- an ancient city, now a scene of slaughter with even children's corpses in the streets. >> ( translated ): everyone was today as we left bosra, they fired about 200 shells at us in just one hour. everyone was dead. my husband's entire family was killed. there are burials everyday in bosra al-sham. sometimes six or seven, sometimes as many as 12. they are having to retrieve the bodies from the streets with ropes. even now there are still bodies in the streets. i swear to god, when we left there were bodies littering the streets.
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>> reporter: but this long night was far from over. at 4:00 a.m. another 358 syrians entered jordan at this same crossing. 14 of them were shot and wounded as they did so. in the small hours of the morning, marwa, mohammed and their family left with their fellow-travelers to begin a new life as refugees in jordan's zaatrari camp, 18 miles, as the crow flies, from the smoldering ruins of their home. >> woodruff: syria and iran both vowed today to respond to israel's reported airstrike yesterday inside syria. meanwhile, iran declared to the international atomic energy agency that it plans to add new centrifuges to speed up urananium enrichment. that's stoked fears in the west and israel that iran is closer to acquiring a nuclear weapon. tonight, margaret warner, on assignment in the middle east reports on the growing debate within israel about how much of a threat iran really is.
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>> reporter: prime minister benjamin netanyahu strode on stage last week a chastened victor in parliamentary elections. his likud party bloc shaved by voters asking for a focus on kitchen table issues. netanyahu had this answer. >> ( translated ): the first challenge is and will continue to be preventing iran from having nuclear weapons. >> reporter: israelis should have expected nothing less, says channel 10 defense correspondent alon ben-david. >> netanyahu sees removing the iranian threat as his lifetime mission, as a historical mission; as if history has put him in this specific time and place to relieve the israeli people from the iranian nuclear threat. >> reporter: but that sense of mission drove a very public spat with president obama last fall over when iran's program had to be stopped before it became impervious to attack. netanyahu famously set the red- line for israel at the u.n.
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>> the red line should be drawn right here. >> reporter: mr. obama has pledged to prevent a nuclear- armed iran, but hasn't laid out a red linef his own. >> iran's leaders should understand that i do not have a policy of containment. i have a policy to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. >> the cooperation between our defense establishments is extraordinary. >> reporter: the u.s. and israel are working together with international sanctions against iran, close intelligence cooperation and what's thought to be a covert campaign of sabotage. but tehran continues enriching uranium, which it insists is for peaceful power generation only. and monday tehran said it had launched a monkey into space, showing off the kind of missile prowess that could be harnessed to deliver a nuclear warhead. >> the iranians are playing a cat and mouse game. >> reporter: israel's deputy foreign minister danny ayalon says iran's enrichment pace dictates israel's timeline.
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>> if they accumulate enough uranium which is close to weapons grade, enough uranium which enables them to detonate one nuclear device: to me is clearly a redline. the iranian strategy is very sophisticated. and it is not to reach a bomb as fast as possible; it's reach to the bomb as safe as possible. >> reporter: retired air force general amos yadlin, former chief of military intelligence, thinks iran is carefully laying the groundwork for a dash to a nuclear weapon. >> they are moving forward at a pace that will not induce a reaction from the outside and develop a very redundant program overt, covert, under the envelope of legitimacy. >> reporter: how serious a threat is it to israel? >> i consider it as the only existential threat to israel. if you combine a very logical regime-- it's called in the open
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to the destruction and humiliation of the state of israel. >> reporter: that's the argument embraced by netanyahu, but disputed by others in israel, with its own unacknowledged nuclear capability. >> i believe there is no existential threat to israel of any kind. israel is indestructible in my view. we have offensive capabilities, we have densive capabitie >> reporter: efraim halevy, who directed israel's intelligence service mossad, thinks netanyahu's hot rhetoric is off the mark. by saying that he or she is an existential threat, you're almost inviting them to try it out. >> reporter: others are less diplomatic. >> this is (no audio) to me. this is just how bibi is staying on his turf, he's sending us this idea of iran becoming you know, crazy, and deciding to throw a bomb on us. >> reporter: gphic designers ronny edry andicahl tamir,
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husband and wife, started an online campaign last year to counter talk of war with a simple message: israel loves iranit began with a facebook page. and a you-tube video message to the iranian people. >> for there to be a war between us, first we must be afraid of each other, we must hate. i'm not afraid of you. i don't even know you. no iranian ever did me no harm. i never even met an iranian. just one in a paris museum: nice dude. >> reporter: the response from iranians poured in. >> people from iran took a picture of themselves and give their own writing: "israel people we don't hate you." i don't even have the words to express how moving it was. i think it's an act of desperation from people to people because the government or prime ministers here in the middle east, the communication is always so aggressive, and so hateful. >> reporter: their effort blossomed online, in demonstrations and on tel aviv
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buses emblazoned with their message. but their person-to-person campaign doesn't address what some here see as israel's dilemma: if iran's leaders won't agree to halt enrichment and the united states doesn't act, should israel strike on its own? the reason it might: as iran expands its program and drives it underground, israel's timeline to attack is much shorter than washington's. >> we do have a very good air force but your air force has more capabilities that we are not possessing, take for b2 bomber. we have only fighters bombs. >> reporter: general yadlin should know, he flew a fighter- bomber in the daring, 1981 mission to destroy saddam hussein's nuclear reactor in iraq, a strike washington tried to dissuade. >> you know the americans can wait until they really see the iranians really breaking it out. for the israelis it will be too late. >> reporter: yet many in israel's military and intelligence establishment, even yadlin, are cautioning netanyahu
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not to rush ahead of the u.s. this time, at least not yet. >> the vast majority of the military and intelligence people do not believe that a military strike today will be effective enough. look at the way the iranians have scattered their nuclear program. let's assume that israel is capable of identifying the weakest points in the iranian nuclear program: they act against the iranian capabilities; they don't change the iranian motivations. >> reporter: halevy still thinks iran can be persuaded to freeze its enrichment by sanctions, covert sabotage and the threat of force. >> they are not demonic and they are not messianic. they are very, very cool calculators when it cometo their direct interests. when you have the shot gun right next to your temples sometimes clarity emerges. >> reporter: what is the shotgun to iran's temple right now? >> the shotgun to iran's temple now is if they don't make a deal
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there is a serious possibility that the united states and or israel would start military activities which would be designed to neutralize iran's capabilities. >> reporter: but this very public talk of military action alarms many israelis. we met ziv tal on ben yehuda street in jerusalem. >> ( translated ): i am not pleased with the way netanyahu is dealing with this-- putting everything out front instead of behind closed doors. and solving it in the way we used to solve it in a more quiet way. >> reporter: and facebook campaigner edry bemoans the state of mind that makes many israelis receptive to netanyahu's arguments. >> in israel, we are addicted to fear and we are addicted to new enemies. we see the arabs, the iranians, the world out there. everybody want to kill us. >> reporter: that sentiment is not surprisi, saysalevy, given israelis common history, but now it's time for the nation to feel and act more confident. >> this syndrome of were not yet
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safe were not yet safe were not yet safe we're not yet safe. if we are a strong force in the middle east, i think the time has come for us to talk like a force and to operate like a force and to think like a force. >> reporter: if any country uses force against iran's sites, israel expects to bear the brunt of retaliation. so it's getting prepared. exnding its defensive assets, like anti-missile batteries against short and medium range attack. here, deep underground, is another line of defense. what was originally built as a parking garage is now a four- story underground hospital bunker. in case of attack on tel aviv, conventional or unconventional, this bed would be one of hundreds wheeled down here, along with patients and a couple of thousand staff. dr. gabriel barbash is director of the sourasky medical center and its new underground operation. >> nothe facility can operate
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on its own after it's been sealed. >> reporter: you mean entirely on its own? >> without communication with the outside world for seven days. >> reporter: barbash and his staff conduct drills in the facilities pre-fitted for dialysis, surgery, trauma, all cleaned by a massive air filtration system. >> the company that manufactures these filters has been established operated and run by christian germans who came into israel to pay r what was done by germany 60 years ago. >> reporter: do you think you'll have to use this? >> yes. we have two iranian subsidiaries-- one in the north of israel, one in the south of israel. both are equipped with missiles that can reach tel aviv. so i have no doubt in my mind that this facility is going to be used. no doubt. >> reporter: as awful as retaliation could be, in the
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cafes of jerusalem we found wide agreement that the prospect of a nuclear iran is much worse. >> that must be the last solution, but if we have to do it, we have to do it. >> the debate was not whether we should or not, but it was about the timing. i believe that there is unanimous understanding in israel that if the sword, so to speak, is on our throat, we have to act. we will not let this sword cut the throat. >> reporter: the two leaders will pick up that debate when mr. netanyahu visits washington in march, as israelis ponder the prospect of another tense year ahead. >> woodruff: margaret's next story examines the growing divide between israelis and palestinans nearly 20 years after the oslo peace accords. and you can continue to find a link to all of our reporting
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from israel, gaza and the west bank on our website. >> brown: now to our interview with former vice president al gore. since he conceded the 2000 presidential election, mr. gore's become best-known for his advocacy on climate change issues work that led to both a nobel prize and an academy award. lately, his business and corporate connections have also been in the news, when he sold his cable channel, current tv. to al-jazeera, the network owned by the government of qatar in the persian gulf. gore is back in print now with a new book titled, "the future: six drivers of global change" examining major shifts in science, technology, the global economy and american democracy. i spoke to him earlier today. >> pelley: al gore welcome. >> thank you. >> brown: you wrote that someone
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asked you about the driving forces of the future. i wonder now that you're done. is this book a warning? a wake-up call, what are you trying to tell us about the future? >> i've always been fascinated with those who try to look over the horizon and see things that are cong at us. and many of the changes now under way have arisen out of the still accelerating scientific and technological revolution and the hypergrowth that we have in the global civilization and economy in which we now live. years ago c.p. snow wrote a famous essay about the two cultures saying that the culture and science and technology on the one hand was increasingly separate from popular culture and i think that's true. and what i hve done i've tried to get these communities to
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repeat things in civil language so that i can understand them and then try to communicate them >> you have very big issue of technology and science and tackle very nitty-gritty issues of our time. now you use the expression that democracy is being hacked. >> has been hacked. >> you attribute this to an influencof b money. >> yes. is the process taintd? >> when you use the word "taint it implies the lack of legitimacy. and i don't want to imply that. i think it has been degraded and significantly captured. i first went to the congress, the house of representatives in the '70s and i have watched i've watched this and it is connected to the influence of
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big money. it's also partly of an outgrowth of a tectonic shift of the early days of our republic when the printing press and the public square that was informed by the printing press has been replaced by television. now americans watch television five hours a day, those my age and older seven hours a day making up for us. but as a result the role of money has been greatly increased >> brown: to what impact? the sense we can't pass legislation and affecting our elections as well? >> for a free country to continue thriving there have to be regular reforms because any society, any economy that stays in place you're going to see repeated attempts to exploit the openings for twisting policy to
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the advantage of those and those who've alrey h weath and power. it's a common theme throughout human history and we've been less vulnerable to that because we've had a freak lull of ideas and people who whatever reason feel there need to be changes and reforms have had an average for convincing their elected representatives to bring about change. they can't do that as much now. the congress is virtually incapable of passing any reforms unless they fist get permissi frm t power sl special interests who are most affected by the proposal. >> brown: and right now we're in the midst of a gun control debate in this country. do you think there's the possibility of passing some sort of comprehensive plan the way the president put it out? >> i hope that this is an exception and there are exceptions but the gag point if you will, the threshold beyond
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which there is enough public outrage to capture the attention of the congress that threshold has been raised to a ridiculously high level. i'm hoping th we will be able to get reform in the gun laws. but here's the simple mechanism at the heart of this. the way our founders designed american democracy, the role of the elected representatives was to go to washington and immerse themselves in information and learn more but always keep in mind how is this going to affect my constituents. to put it out way, how do i react if i vote this way ke this speech. now because representatives and senators spend five to six hours a day everyday begging for money from wealthy interests and wealthy individual to build up a war chest so they can buy their
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television commercials the next day when they go to vote or make a speech they tell themselves "how is this going to affect my fund raising?" so their constituents take a backseat unless it is an exceptional situation where the public is passionately aroused. >> brown: this money and influence question is one that has been hitting you with the past few weeks since you sold current t.v. to al jazeera. al jazeera owned by the government of qatar, the family there. it gets its wealth from natural gas and oil, fossil fuels. and what a lot of folks said (and you've been asked about in the last few days) is the question of hypocrisy. how can you telling all of us that it's important to think abou cutting back on our energy use how can you sell to a company that really is backed by that very thing. >> i understand the charge. i rejected and disagree with it
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but for one simple reason: in doing diligence on what al jazeera really is, you will find very clearly that it has long since established itself as a truly outstanding news gathering network. let me give you one example. their coverage of the climate crisis is the highest quality and most extensive of any television network. by contrast, we just went through here in the united states a long presidential campaign in a year that was the hottest in american history with superstorm sandy and 60% of the country in drought and massive fires in the west and 110 billion dollars of climate disasters and not one journalist asked any of the candidates in any of the debates a single question about climate. >>rown: you wrote that and i've heard you say that in
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interviews. but therefore what? because -- >> therefore we in the united states --. >> brown: but i can't get in the heads of the moderators who did not ask -- presumably they had other thing, important things to say. are you suggesting they didn't ask about climate change because they were influenced somehow by money or by big corporations? i mean, that's the "therefore what"? >> i think that more diversity is a good thing and fresh points of view articulated by pele o a committed to excellence in journalism is a beneficial change in the american media landscape and a news organization that regularly and constantly explore this is issue by contrast to the way it has been ignored up until -- superstorm sandy has begun to bring about some change but we have had a kind of odd silence
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about this issue and the united states is the only nation that can ad the world toward a solution on this issue. in any case, this organization has proven itself, it has a fantastic reputation. i'm proud of what current t.v. was able to do. we had an excellent lineup of programming but as an independent in an age of conglomerates without deep pocket wes faced a point even though we were profitable each year with we had to make a move. this organization i think is a vergood aitio the.s. television dial. >> brown: you call yourself a recovering politician. i'm not going to ask you if you're planning to reenter politics because you're no doubt not going to tell me. but i wonder how you see yourself, your role, today. do you think you've been more effective out of politics or in? >> well, i don't have the illusion that there's any
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position or role in the world with as much potential for bringing about change as that of president of the united states. but that w not to b and i found other ways to serve and i have found a lot of good ways to make a positive difference. and i plan to continue doing that. >> brown: all right, we're goin to continue this discussion online about climate change and other issues and i hope our viewers will join us then. for now, the book is "the future." al gore, thanks for talking with us. >> thank you. >> woodruff: next, a new survey from the pew research center findshe nation increasingly distrustful of the federal government. the findings released today show about one-quarter of americans trust government to do the right thing always or most of the time, a whopping 73% don't.
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and those surveyed blame members of congress. asked if the political system can work, 56% responded that lawmakers are the problem and 32% disagreed. to put this in historical perspective, we are joined by andrew kohut of the pew research enter. andy kohut, thank you for being with us again. >> happy to be with you. >> woodruff: this survey found not only do people not have a high regard for the federal government, you found a majority think the federal government actually threatens their personal rights. >> yeah. we have for the first time since we've been asking this question we have a majority, 53%, saying that they feel personally threatened, their rights are personally threatened by the government. now, this is mostly being led by a trend amongrepuicans, especially conservative republicans among conservative republicans that percentage is 76%. but it's a really very powerful
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attitude. it has to do with worries on the right and the middle as well that the government is encroaching on them. gun control is part of their worries. i think you go back to obamacare many people complaining the government is telling me i have that to buy health insurance. they don't have the right to do this. so this issue of the power of government, the role of government is certainly part of that. now, this is different than distrust in the government. it's certainly part of it. but it's one particular element. >> and did i understand you to say it's independents as well as republicans? >> right. many of them are the independents that lean republicans. the democrats are less of this view. but if we went back to the bush years the democrats were more inclined to say than the republicans that tgovernment personally threatened them.
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now, they were worried about different things. they were worried about warrantless wiretaps and the loss of personal freedoms and a war against terrorism but there's kind of a regime effect but the public both right and left really are quite worried that government is going to threaten what the values and thing that they hold. >> woodruff: how has this changed over time since you've been polling. is ben a up-and-down thing. it relates to the things that are going on in the issues that are in play. >> woodruff: and we're showing -- i think this is the trust in government which is the other question i wanted to ask you out and we're showing how that started out in the 1960s at a high level and then -- >> really what that chart shows is that distrust in government has been endemic since the end of the 1960s of vietnam
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post-watergate era. it's largely been most people saying th cant trust government. we've had a number of factors our studies show that trust in government falls when the economy is difficult or people don't think that government's effective in dealing with it. they fall at times during unpop you you already a wars, vietnam, iraq. now i think the fall, the tumble and the concern is gridlock. people are very concerned that government isn't getting anywhere. two statistics stand out to me from this election. only 25% have a favorable view congress. 90% o the penal who ran for reelection got reelected and that is the nature -- that's the source of the frustration. >> woodruff: and picking up on what al gore was saying, the way the system now works with so much money, with money having so much of an influence it will be interesting to see whether -- t
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what extent that affects people's views. >> well, i think that people will -- are at the boiling point when it comes to -- we're not gettinwhate wa out washington. quote/unquote something's got to give somewhere along the line. public patience is not endless. but the issue of gerrymandering, the issue of money, there are all of these other factors that complicate things. >> woodruff: andy kohut who has been watching these questions for years and will continue to keep an eye on them. thank you. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: on our website you can find a link to another recent pew study. this one about the "sandwich generation": middle-aged americans who are helping support both aging parents and their grown-up children. read that on the rundown. >> brown: finally tonight, the hacking of the "new york times," allegedly by the chinese. ray suarez has our look.
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>> suarez: the "times" revealed late yesterday that its computer system had been the subject of an extensive, four-month long hacking attack. editors said hired security experts concluded chinese hackers cracked the passwords of more than 50 email accounts, including those of top reporters. the "times" reported the attacks coincided with an investigation it did that found relatives of wen jiabao, china's prime minister, had accumulated several billion dollars through their business dealings. for more on all this, i am joined by "new york times" reporter, nicole perlroth, who reported the story in today's paper. and grady summers, vice president of mandiant, the cyber security company hired by the "times" to investigate the breach. nicole perlroth, let's start with you. how did the paper realize that it was under attack and could it immediately move to defend itself? >> we were actually -- this was a proactive effort by the "new york times."
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we knew the story was coming out. we knew there had been warnings about publication of the investigation into wen jiabao's relatives would quote/unquote have consequences. so our security team notified at&t which monitors our network full time to look out for unusual activity and we notified them a day before the story published and the day the story went online at&t got back to us ansaid tt ty had noced that at least three of our computers were communicating with command-and-control servers that they knew had perpetrated attacks on other companies before and that they believed were being coordinated by the chinese military. >> suarez: from this monitor, were you able to tell, it was paper able to tell, what whoever was doing this was looking? were they just rooting around showing they could do it? what was the purpose? >> originally we didn't know what they were after. the timi of the attas wh the investigation of the story
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gave us some sense but they were very active in the week after they published the story and specially on election night on november six which led some of my editors to suspect or fear they might do the worst which would take down our print or online publication systems. so we hired mandiant who came in and looked at our systems and it looks at if they spent two weeks once they initiall got into our syste i septeermoving around our systems until they finally found the domain controllers that contains user names and passwords for every single "new york times" employee. they took those passwords, cracked them and got into 53 of our computers which it looks like they really used as a launching pad for the real target of their attacks which were the e-mail correspondents of david barbosa our shanghai bureau chief and jim yardley, our beijing bureau chief.
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david is the one who wrote the investigaon into mr. when's relatives. and based on what the attackers took, it looks as if they were looking for the sources of david barbosa's investigation. what is ironic about that is, as david has said publicly, the sources for that investigation were not some deep throat it was publicly available documents in china. so we could see the documents that these hackers were taking and they were not sensitive by any means. there was no deep throat. it was clear they were after his e-mail correspondence pret early on in the attacks. >> suarez: grady summers, was this a sophisticated proficient attack? >> we find these are as proficient as they need to be in order to break into an organization. in the case we heard about from the "new york times" today i would say it was sixth or seventh on a scale of one to ten. we see these attackers become
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sophisticated when they need to be and some cases simple spear fishing e-mail and some commodity will do the trick. >> suarez: how do you work it back so you know the origin or you beeve the origin is in china? >> at mandiant we try to take a wholistic approach rather than looking at malware versus software we try to look at all the attacks and as to how we would trasz that back to china we take this act seriously. it won't just toss out a country or actor. we got proprietary methods there's a corollary to the fiscal role to real life burglary. the detective will look for the m.o. and they look for the tools they use, the techniqu they usethe timef day they break in and what approach they take to casing out a particular site and we do much the same thing in the cyber world. we look at hundreds of thousands of indicators, we group those to groups of threat actors and when we see the tools and techniques
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used again we can pinpoint with pretty good accuracy. >> suarez: just in the last several hours it's become known that cnn international the external service of the cnn television network and the "wall street journal" were also victims of similar attacks and the united states government is now putti cyber you will haver inability on its intelligence estimates. apparently this is a big problem. >> it is a big problem and it's amazing how broad a problem it's become. when we started doing these investigations years ago it was primarily aerospace and defense sector. you could almost count on those sectors being targeted. today it would be easier to tell you which sectors aren't being targeted. anything from energy to oil and gas, clean technology, biofuels, law firms and, of course, even media and entertainment. so very broad based attacks. >> reporter: the "new york times" doesn't have the choice of leaving the biggest country on earth and the second biggest economy on earth, does it?
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but this is a retaliatory attack and even at a time when your paper is expanding into china with a chinese language online edition. >> that's right, well the chinese language edition was blocked the day that that story on when you but a's relatives went live and it continues to be blocked in china and now we've seen we've been hacked a well. wwoul likeo relaunch that site in china but it's a process. >> suarez: so for now full steam ahead in journalism as usual despite this kind of pushback from such a big market? >> that's right. i don't think that this will deter us from doing the journalism we've always done and i credit tv times for letting the story be told. as grady can probably tell you there were hundreds of other organizations targeted by the same group that hit the "new york times", you just hen't heard about any of them.
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so this is the first time we've been able to provide a rare glimpse into what one of these attacks look like. >> suarez: nicole perlroth, grady summers, thank you both. >> thank you. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the nominee for defense secretary, former senator chuck hagel, defended his record at his confirmation hearing. he said america must engage, not retreat, in the world. and the senate gave final approval to suspending the national debt ceiling into may. online we profile a social entrepreneur who works as matchmaker between international artisans and retailers. kwame holman explains. >> holman: in our agents for change series, meet the woman in charge of nest, an organization that helps talented, aspiring craftspeople build successful businesses and connect to consumers. that's on the rundown. should parents worry about kids consuming highly caffeinated energy drinks? health correspondent betty ann
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bowser asks a psycho- pharmacologist. d on making sense, economis dean baker weighs in on the causes of rising economic inequality in the united states. all that and more is on our website jeff? >> brown: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm jeffrey brown. >> brown: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks among others. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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